There’s more to winning games on the diamond than hitting the long ball. But the power show at Aragon sure has been fun to watch this season.
The Dons softball and baseball teams have combined for 23 home runs this season (17 softball, six baseball) and just over half of those have been supplied by Daily Journal Athletes of the Week, siblings Megan and Cam Grant.
Cam Grant, a senior center fielder, has seen his share of success on the diamond. He was the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division Player of the Year last season when he became the first Aragon player of the composite-bat era to reach 40 hits. Now, with his younger sister on track to reach that total as a freshman on the softball diamond, the two are quickly becoming recognizable as Aragon royalty.
“Yeah, Cam kind of owns the place,” Aragon baseball coach Lenny Souza said. “Cam walks pretty big and tall around campus. Megan is the third one to come through and now she’s tearing it up … so there’s definitely a buzz around campus.”
Devin Grant, class of 2016, was the first of the three siblings to make a name for himself at Aragon. He recently finished his redshirt sophomore season with the College of Idaho football team. Cam and Megan, however, both see their respective futures on the diamond.
Cam Grant is set to play locally, still choosing between several Bay Area community college baseball programs. Megan Grant, meanwhile, made her college decision before arriving at Aragon, committing last summer to play softball on full athletic scholarship at UCLA.
“I’m seeing her performing for the USA national team, for sure,” Cam Grant said of his sister’s future. “I have hopes for her in softball. She has that baseball mentality and brings that to softball. And I think that’s what gives her the edge on everyone else.”
In fact, Megan Grant has spent most of her life playing baseball. She grew up playing little league and travel ball with the boys. She only converted to softball two summers ago, and played her first full summer season with the West Bay Warriors travel team based in San Mateo in 2018.
The conversion to the softball diamond was a natural one, however, a decision Megan Grant said was solely about playing high school ball. The collegiate offer and early verbal commitment to UCLA took her by surprise.
“I was just thinking about high school at the time,” Megan Grant said. “I was like, ‘I don’t really see myself playing baseball for high school.’ I wanted to start softball so I could get used to it. College was the last thing on my mind.”
Cam Grant doesn’t discount his sister’s baseball ability, though. And neither does Souza, who first witnessed Megan Grant’s skills when she arrived at the Aragon baseball field one day as a sixth-grader and started taking swings with her brothers.
“I was already joking around with Lenny about this,” Cam Grant said. “Would she be on varsity? And he said, ‘yeah.’ … I feel like she would be in the starting lineup and she would be our third baseman.”
That isn’t to say Aragon baseball needs the help. The Dons, currently sitting atop the PAL Ocean Division baseball standings, are hitting .314 as a team. Cam Grant is leading the team in each of the triple-crown categories, batting .458 with four home runs and 27 RBIs.
The senior enjoyed a monster week through three games last week, helping the Dons to three wins batting 4 for 8 with a homer and six RBIs. His homer set the tone in a 6-2 win over El Camino last Tuesday, connecting with a three-run bomb to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth.
Two days later, he played a key role in Aragon sweeping the two-game series from EC with a back-and-forth 8-6 win. He had two hits, including a leadoff single amid a 6-6 tie in the top of the seventh and later scored on an RBI double by Matthew Mukai.
“He contributed offensively in every way possible last week,” Souza said. “He did a lot for us.”
Megan Grant is also leading her team in all the triple-crown categories, batting .606 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs. She batted safely in her first nine varsity games until taking an 0 for 3 in Aragon’s 3-2 win over Hillsdale last Tuesday. That Hillsdale team, incidentally, is coached by Kelly McDonald, Megan Grant’s coach with the West Bay Warriors.
Megan Grant bounced back last Thursday in a 5-1 win over Half Moon Bay, drilling a three-run home run to center in the fifth inning.
“I try to go off the more aggressive approach,” Megan Grant said. “Because if you go up to the plate scared, that’s not a good approach to have when hitting. I try to look for my pitches when hitting.”
In describing Megan Grant’s talents — from her refined left-handed power swing to her advanced hand-eye coordination to the sweet spot — people are already evoking the name Barry Bonds.
Meanwhile, it’s Cam Grant, who swings it right-handed, who is getting the Barry Bonds treatment. Last season, he walked 13 times in 90 plate appearances. He has equaled that walk total through 63 plate appearances this year.
The hitting philosophy might sound familiar though. It should, as the aggressive approach has served the Grant family well.
“I’m going deeper into counts this year,” Cam Grant said. “When I see a good pitch the first pitch, I try to get on it because I know I might not see a good one again.”